Srila Prabhupada: "The Sankara's Bhaja Govinda verse is as follows: bhaja govindam bhaja govindam .........  This is Sankara's last instruction to his followers, and the purport is that the mayavadi philosophers are very much accustomed to draw favorable meanings from unwanted interpretations by grammatical jugglery. In Sanskrit the grammatical jugglery is a great puzzle, there are many words which can be changed into different meanings by grammatical root derivations and affixing and prefixing pratyayas.
So Sankara advised that do not try to exact favorable conclusions by beating the Sastras, but be submissive to Lord Govinda and worship Him. Otherwise, this grammatical jugglery of words will not help you at the time of death. At that time only if you can someway or other remember the Lotus Feet of Govinda, Krishna, that will save you, O' the fool number-one. Don't waste your time in misinterpreting the sastras."
(SP. Letter January 21, 1970 / Los Angeles )


bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ   govindaṁ bhaja mūḍhamate
bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ govindaṁ bhaja mūḍhamate

SHRI SHANKARA-ACHARYA

The Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes Shankara-acharya as follows:

Paramahamsa Premadasa Babaji prostrated himself respectfully upon hearing the name of Sri Sankaracarya. He said, "My dear sir, always remember this: …sankarah sankarah sakshad… 'Sri Sankaracarya is Lord Siva himself.' Sri Sankaracarya is the spiritual preceptor of all the Vaishnavas and for this reason Sri Caitanya has acclaimed him as an acarya, great preceptor. Sri Sankaracarya is a perfect Vaishnava.

"At the time of his appearance, India urgently required a guna-avatara, an incarnation who presides over the material nature, because the spread of the voidistic philosophy of Buddhism had caused India to practically give up the cultivation and study of the Vedas, as well as the practice of varnasrama-dharma, the Vedic social system. Nihilistic Buddhism, known as sunyavada, directly denies the existence of a personal God and although hinting at the principle of the jiva-atma, the eternal spirit soul, Buddhism remains in essence anitya-dharma. In those days, the brahmanas had all but forsaken the Vedic religion and converted to Buddhism.

"At this historic moment, the extraordinarily powerful Lord Siva appeared as Sri Sankaracarya and reinstated the pristine glory of the Vedas by transforming nihilistic Voidism into monistic Brahmanism. This was a spectacular achievement, for which India will always remain indebted to Sri Sankaracarya. Works in the world may be judged by two standards. Some works are tat-kalika, specific to a particular time, and others are sarva-kalika, for all time. Sri Sankaracarya's achievement, which resulted in great good for human society, belongs to the former category. He laid a firm foundation, upon which Sri Ramanujacarya and Sri Madhvacarya later constructed the grand edifice of pure Vaishnava philosophy. Therefore, he is one of the greatest benefactors and historic torchbearers of the Vaishnava religion.

"The spiritual guidelines Sri Sankaracarya laid down act as beacons to the Vaishnavas on their path of spiritual progress. For instance, sambandha-jnana-knowledge of the eternal relationships between the jiva, prakriti, and Bhagavan-is absolutely essential for the conditioned jivas. The Vaishnavas and Sri Sankaracarya share the understanding that the cit-vastu, spiritual existence, is supramundane and transcendental to the subtle and gross material bodies of the external material nature. They are also of the same opinion regarding the spiritual nature of the jiva. They agree, too, that liberation means giving up one's attachment to the material world. Up to the stage of mukti, the Vaishnavas concur with Sri Sankaracarya on many philosophical points. Sri Sankaracarya also taught that a soul purifies his consciousness by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, after which he attains mukti.

"What Sri Sankaracarya remains silent about, however, are the wonderful realizations the jiva experiences after attaining mukti. Sri Sankaracarya was confident that once the jivas were set on the path of liberation attainable by worshiping the Supreme Lord, Sri Hari, they would gradually develop a taste and an attachment for devotional service and ultimately become pure devotees of the Lord. Hence, Sri Sankaracarya-after plainly indicating the proper way-did not delve further into the esoteric aspects of Vaishnava philosophy. Those who scrutinizingly study Sri Sankaracarya's commentaries can comprehend his underlying intention, but those who ponder only the external and superficial aspects of his teachings are diverted from the Vaishnava path.

"Sripada Sankaracarya described the concept of advaita, non-dualism, as the pure, transcendental state of the Absolute Truth. Unfortunately, his confused followers are unable to grasp the esoteric import of this philosophy and in the process they are denigrating his good reputation by ascribing an incorrect interpretation to his statements. They describe the transcendental conditions of prema as maya, material illusion, and thus the doctrine they preach is known as mayavada philosophy. It is most degraded. Their philosophical aberration extirpates the quality of eternality in prema; hence, the Vaishnavas have concluded that such philosophy is non-Vedic.

Jaiva Dharma Chapter 2, The Nitya-dharma of the Living Entity Is Pure and Everlasting


Appendix: Sanskrit words and meanings

The following words and meanings are added as an
appendix to allow the reader to learn Sanskrit words.


भज
= worship;
गोविन्दं
= Govinda;
मूढमते
= O, foolish mind!;
संप्राप्ते
= ( when you have) reached/obtained;
सन्निहिते
= (in the) presence/nearness of;
काले
= Time (here:Lord of Death, Yama);
नहि
= No; never;
रक्षति
= protects;
डुकृञ्करणे
= the grammatical formula DukRi.nkaraNe;
.. ..
= Text 1

 
मूढ
= Oh fool!;
जहीहि
= jahi+iha, leave/give up+here(in this world);
धन
= wealth;
अगम
= coming/arrival;
तृष्णां
= thirst/desire;
कुरु
= Do;act;
सद्बुद्धिं
= sat.h+buddhiM, good+awareness(loosely speaking:mind);
मनसि
= in the mind;
वितृष्णां
= desirelessness;
यल्लभसे
= yat.h+labhase, whatever+(you)obtain;
निजकर्म
= nija+karma, one's+duty(normal work);
उपात्त
= obtained;
वित्तं
= wealth;
तेन
= by that; with that;
विनोदय
= divert/recreate(be happy);
चित्तं
= mind;
.. ..
2

 
नारी
= woman;
स्तनभर
= breasts that are(full-with milk);
नाभीदेशं
= nAbhI+deshaM, navel+region/country;
दृष्ट्वा
= having seen;
मागा
= mA+gaa, Don't+go;
मोहावेशं
= infatuated state(moha+AveshaM-seizure);
एतन्
= this;
मांसावसादि
= mAmsau+Adi, flesh+etc;
विकारं
= appearance (generally, grotesque/ugly);
मनसि
= in the mind;
विचिन्तय
= think well;
वारं
= again;
वारं
= and again;
.. ..
3

 
नलिनीदलगत
= nalinI+dala+gata, lotus+petal+reached/gone;
जल
= water(drop);
अतितरलं
= ati+tarala, very+unstable;
तद्वत्
= like that;
जीवित
= life;
अतिशय
= wonderful;
चपलं
= fickle-minded;
विद्धि
= know for sure;
व्याधि
= disease;
अभिमान
= self-importance;
ग्रस्तं
= having been caught/seized;
लोकं
= world;people;
शोकहतं
= attacked(hata) by grief(shoka);
= and;
समस्तं
= entire;
.. ..
= 4

 
यावत् 
= so long as;
वित्त
= wealth;
उपार्जन
= earning/acquiring;
सक्तः
= capable of;
तावन्निज
= tAvat.h+nija, till then+one's;
परिवारः
= family;
रक्तः
= attached;
पश्चात्
= later;
जीवति
= while living(without earning);
जर्जर
= old/digested (by disease etc);
देहे
= in the body;
वार्तां
= word (here enquiry/inquiry);
कोऽपि
= kaH+api, whosoever; even one;
= not;
पृच्छति
= inquires/asks/minds;
गेहे
= in the house;
.. ..
= 5

 
यावत्
= so long as;
पवनः
= air/breath;
निवसति
= lives/dwells;
देहे
= in thge body;
तावत्
= till then;
पृच्छति
= asks/inquires;
कुशलं
= welfare;
गेहे
= in the house;
गतवति
= while gone;
वायौ
= air(life-breath);
देहापाये
= when life departs the body;
भार्या
= wife;
बिभ्यति
= is afraid;fears;
तस्मिन्काये
= tasmin.h+kaye, in that body;
.. ..
= 6

 
बालः
= young boy;
तावत्
= till then (till he is young);
क्रीडा
= play;
सक्तः
= attached/engrossed/absorbed;
तरुणः
= young man;
तावत्
= till then;
तरुणी
= young woman;
सक्तः
= attached/engrossed;
वृद्धः
= old man;
तावत्
= till then;
चिन्ता
= worry;
सक्तः
= attached/engrossed/absorbed;
परे
= in the lofty;high;supreme;
ब्रह्मणि
= Brahman.h ;God;
कोऽपि
= whosoever;
= not;
सक्तः
= attached/absorbedengrossed;
.. ..
= 7

 
काते
= kA+te, who+your;
कान्ता
= wife;
कस्ते
= kaH+te, who+your;
पुत्रः
= son;
संसारः
= world/family;
अयं
= this;
अतीव
= great/big/very much;
विचित्रः
= wonderful/mysterious;
कस्य
= whose;
त्वं
= you;
कः
= who;
कुतः
= from where;
आयातः
= have come;
तत्त्वं
= truth/nature;
चिन्तय
= think well/consider;
तदिह
= tat.h+iha, that+here;
भ्रातः
= brother;
.. ..
= 8

 
सत्सङ्गत्वे
= in good company;
निस्सङ्गत्वं
= aloneness/non-attachment/detachment;
निर्मोहत्वं
= non-infatuated state/clearheadedness;
निश्चलतत्त्वं
= tranquillity/imperturbability;
जीवन्मुक्तिः
= salvation+freedom from bondage of birth;
वयसिगते
= vayasi+gate, when age has advanced/gone;
.. ..
= 9

 
कः
= who/what use( in the sense of kva?(where));
कामविकारः
= sensual/sexual attraction;
शुष्के
= in the drying up of;
नीरे
= water;
= what( use) is the;
कासारः
= lake;
क्षीणे
= spent-up/weakened state of;
वित्ते
= wealth;
कः
= what( use) for;
परिवारः
= family(is there?);
ज्ञाते
= in the realised state;
तत्त्वे
= truth;
कः
= what (use) is;
संसारः
= world/family bond;
.. १०..
= 10

 
मा
= do not;
कुरु
= do/act;
धन
= wealth;
जन
= people;
यौवन
= youth;
गर्वं
= arrogance/haughtiness;
हरति
= takes away/steals away;
निमेषात्
= in the twinkling of the eye;
कालः
= Master Time;
सर्वं
= all;
माया
= delusion;
मयं
= full of/completely filled;
इदं
= this;
अखिलं
= whole/entire;
हित्वा
= having given up/abandoned;
ब्रह्मपदं
= the state/position of Brahma/god-realised state;
त्वं
= you;
प्रविश
= enter;
विदित्वा
= having known/realised;
.. ११..
= 11

 
दिनयामिन्यौ
= dina+yAminI, day + night;
सायं
= evening;
प्रातः
= morning;
शिशिर
= frosty season;
वसन्तौ
= (and) Spring season;
पुनः
= again;
आयातः
= have arrived;
कालः
= Master Time;
क्रीडति
= plays;
गच्छति
= goes (away);
आयुः
= life/age;
तदपि
= tat.h+api, then even;
= not;
मुञ्चति
= releases;
आशा
= desire;
वायुः
= air (the wind of desire does not let off its hold);
.. १२..
= 12

 
द्वादशमञ्जरिकाभिः= by the bouquet consisting of 12 flowers (the 12 shlokas above)
अशेष
= without remainder/totally;
कथित
= was told;
वैयाकरणस्यैषः
= to the grammarian+this;
उपदेशः
= advice;
भूद्
= was;
विद्यनिपुणै= by the ace scholar Shankara (Plural is used for reverance);
श्रीमच्छन्करभगवत्+चरणैः = by Shankaracharya, known as shankarabhagavat,.. १३..                                           charaNAH or pAdAH, plural for reverence (13)

 
काते
= kA+te, who+your;
कान्ता
= wife;
धन
= wealth;
गतचिन्ता
= thinking of;
वातुल
= ;
कि
= ;
तव
= your;
नास्ति
= na+asti, not there;
नियन्ता
= controller;
त्रिजगति
= in the three worlds;
सज्जन
= good people;
संगतिरैका
= sa.ngatiH+ekA, company+(only) one (way);
भवति
= becomes;
भवार्णव
= bhava+arNava, birthdeath+ocean;
तरणे
= in crossing;
नौका
= boat/ship;
.. १४..
= 14

 
जटिलः
= with knotted hair;
मुण्डी
= shaven head;
लुञ्छितकेश
= hair cut here and there;
काषाय
= saffron cloth;
अम्बर
= cloth/sky;
बहुकृत
= variously done/made-up;
वेषः
= make-ups/garbs/roles;
पश्यन्नपि
= even after seeing;
चन
= cha(?)+na, and +not;
पश्यति
= sees;
मूढः
= the fool;
उदरनिमित्तं
= for the sake of the belly/living;
बहुकृतवेषः
= various make-ups/roles;
.. १५..
= 15

 
अङ्गं
= limb(s);
गलितं
= weakened;
पलितं
= ripened(grey);
मुण्डं
= head;
दशनविहीनं
= dashana+vihInaM, teeth+bereft;
जातं
= having become;
तुण्डं
= jaws/mouth?;
वृद्धः
= the old man;
याति
= goes;
गृहीत्वा
= holding the;
दण्डं
= stick(walking);
तदपि
= then even;
= not;
मुञ्चति
= lets go/releases/gives up;
आशापिण्डं                      = AshA+pindaM, desire+lump(piNDaM also means rice-ball .. १६..                                   given as oblation for the dead (16)

 
अग्रे
= in front of/ahead/beforehand;
वह्निः
= fire ( for worship);
पृष्ठेभानुः
= pRishhThe+bhaanuH, behind+sun;
रात्रौ
= in the night;
चुबुकसमर्पितजानु
= face dedicated to(huddled up between) the knees;
करतलभिक्षा
= alms in the palms;
तरुतलवासं
= living under the trees;
तदपि
= then even;
= not;
मुञ्चति
= releases/lets go;
आशा
= desire;
पाशं
= rope/ties;
.. १७..
= 17

 
कुरुते
= one takes resort to;
गङ्गासागर
= the sea of Ganga (banks of the Ganges);
गमनं
= going;
व्रत
= austerities;
परिपालनं
= observance/governance;
अथवा
= or/else;
दानं
= charity;
ज्ञानविहिनः
= (but)bereft of knowledge  of the Self;
सर्वमतेन
= according to all schools of thought/unanimously;
मुक्तिं
= salvation/freedom;
= not;
भजति
= attains;
जन्म
= birth(s);
शतेन
= hundred;
.. १८..
= 18

 
सुर
= gods;
मंदिर
= temple;
तरु
= tree;
मूल
= root;
निवासः
= living;
शय्या
= bed;
भूतल
= on the surface of the earth;
मजिन
= deer skin?;
वासः
= living;
सर्व
= all;
परिग्रह
= ttachment;
भोग
= enjoyable things/worldly pleasures;
त्याग
= sacrificing/abandonment;
कस्य
= whose;
सुखं
= happiness;
= not;
करोति
= does;
विरागः
= Non-attachment/desirelessness;
.. १९..
= 19

 
योगरतः
= indulging in yoga;
वा
= or;
भोगरतः
= indulging in worldly pleasures;
वा
= or;
सङ्गरतः
= indulging in good company;
वा
= or;
सङ्गवीहिनः
= bereft of company;
यस्य
= whose;
ब्रह्मणि
= in Brahman(God);
रमते
= delights;
चित्तं
= mind (here soul);
नन्दति
= revels;
नन्दत्येव
= nandati+eva, revels alone/revels indeed;
.. २०..
= 20

 
भगवद्
= god's;
गीता
= song (here the scripture `bhagavatgItA');
किञ्चित्
= a little;
अधीता
= studied;
गङ्गा
= river Ganga;
जललव
= water drop;
कणिकापीता
= a little droplet, drunk;
सकृदपि
= once even;
येन
= by whom;
मुरारि
= the enemy of `Muraa' (Lord Krishna);
समर्चा
= well worshipped;
क्रियते
= is done;
तस्य
= his;
यमेन
= by Yama, the lord of Death;
= not;
चर्चा
= discussion;
.. २१..
= 21

 
पुनरपि
= punaH+api, again  again;
जननं
= birth;
पुनरपि
= again  again;
मरणं
= death;
पुनरपि
= again  again;
जननी
= mother;
जठरे
= in the stomach;
शयनं
= sleep;
इह
= in this world/here;
संसारे
= family/world;
बहुदुस्तारे
= fordable with great difficulty;
कृपयाऽपारे
= out of boundless compassion;
पाहि
= protect;
मुरारे
= Oh Muraa's enemy!(KrishhNa);
.. २२..
= 22

 
रथ्या
= ?;
चर्पट
= torn/tattered cloth;
विरचित
= created;
कन्थः
= throated man;
पुण्यापुण्य
= virtues  sins;
विवर्जित
= without/ having abandoned;
पन्थः
= wayfarer?;
योगी
= the man seeking union with god;
योगनियोजित
= ccontrolled by yoga;
चित्तः
= mind;
रमते
= delights;
बालोन्मत्तवदेव
= like a child who has gone mad;
.. २३..
= 23

 
कः
= who (are);
त्वं
= you;
कः
= who(am);
अहं
= I;
कुतः
= whence;
आयातः
= has come;
का
= who;
मे
= my;
जननी
= mother;
कः
= who;
मे
= my;
तातः
= father;
इति
= thus;
परिभावय
= deem well/visualise;
सर्वं
= the entire;
असारं
= worthless/without essence;
विश्वं
= world;
त्यक्त्वा
= having abandoned/sacrificed;
स्वप्न
= dream;
विचारं
= consideration/thinking;
.. २४..
= 24

 
त्वयि
= in yourself;
मयि
= in myself;
चान्यत्रैक
= cha+anyatra+ekaH, and+in any other place+only one;
विष्णुः
= the Lord MahaavishhNu;
व्यर्थ
= in vain ; for nothing;purposeless;
कुप्यसि
= you get angry;
मय्यसहिष्णु
= mayi+asahishhNuH, in me+intolerant;
भव
= become;
समचित्तः
= equal-minded/equanimity;
सर्वत्र
= everywhere;
त्वं
= you;
वाञ्छसि
= you desire;
अचिराद्
= without delay/in no time;
यदि
= if;
विष्णुत्वं
= the quality/state of Brahman/god-realisation;
.. २५..
= 25

 
शत्रौ
= in  (towards)the enemy;
मित्रे
= in (towards) the friend;
पुत्रे
= in(towards) the son;
बन्धौ
= in (towards) relatives;
मा
= don't;
कुरु
= do;
यत्नं
= effort;
विग्रहसन्धौ
= for war(dissension) or peace-making;
सर्वस्मिन्नपि
= in all beings;
पश्यात्मानं
= see your own self;
सर्वत्र
= everywhere;
उत्सृज
= give up;
भेदाज्ञानं
= difference/otherness/duality;
.. २६..
= 26

 
कामं
= desire;
क्रोधं
= anger;
लोभं
= greed;
मोहं
= infatuation;
त्यक्त्वाऽत्मानं
= having abandoned see as one's own self;
भावय
= deem/consider/visualise/imagine;
कोऽहं
= who am I;
आत्मज्ञान
= knowledge of self;
विहीना
= bereft;
मूढा
= fools;
ते
= they;
पच्यन्ते
= are cooked?;
नरक
= in the hell;
निगूढा
= cast in;
वित्तं
= wealth;
.. २७..
= 27

 
गेयं
= is to be sung;
गीता
= bhagavatgItA;
नाम
= name of the lord;
सहस्रं
= 1000 times;
ध्येयं
= is to be meditated;
श्रीपति
= Lakshmi's consort MahAvishhNu's;
रूपं
= form/image;
अजस्रं
= the unborn one;
नेयं
= is to be lead/taken;
सज्जन
= good people;
सङ्गे
= in the company;
चित्तं
= mind;
देयं
= is to be given;
दीनजनाय
= to the  poor (humble state) people;
= and;
.. २८..
= 28

 
सुखतः
= for happiness;
क्रियते
= is done;
रामाभोग
= sexual pleasures?;
पश्चाद्धन्त
= later on in the end;
शरीरे
= in the body;
रोग
= disease;
यद्यपि
= even though;
लोके
= in the world;
मरण
= death;
शरणं
= resort/surrender;
तदपि
= even then;
= not;
मुञ्चति
= releases/gives up;
पापाचरणं
= pApa+AcharaNa, sin-practising;
.. २९..
= 29

 
अर्थं
= wealth;
अनर्थं
= purposeless/in vain/danger-productive;
भावय
= deem/consider/visualise;
नित्यं
= daily/always;
= not;
अस्ति
= is;
ततः
= from that;
सुखलेशः
= (even a little) happiness;
सत्यं
= Truth;
पुत्रादपि
= even from the the son;
धन
= wealth;
भाजां
= acquiring peeople;
भीतिः
= fear;
सर्वत्र
= everywhere;
एषा
= this;
विहिआ
= vihitA?, understood;
रीतिः
= procedure/practice/custom;
.. ३०..
= 30

 
प्राणायाम
= breath-control;
प्रत्याहार
= diet-control;
नित्यं
= always/daily/certain;
अनित्य
= uncertain/temporary/ephemeral/transient;
विवेक
= awareness after reasoning;
विचार
= thought/considered concluion/opinion;
जाप्यसमेत
= with chanting of the  names of the lord;
समाधिविधान
= in the state of trance;
कुर्ववधानं
= pay attention;
महदवधानं
= great care  attention;
.. ३१..
= 31

 
गुरुचरणाम्बुज
= the lotus feet of the teacher/guru;
निर्भर
= dependent;
भकतः
= devotee;
संसारात्
= fromthe world;
अचिराद्भव
= in no time from the cycle of birthdeath;
मुक्तः
= released;
सेन्द्रियमानस
= sa+indriya+mAnasa, wwith senses and mind;
नियमादेव
= control alone(niyamAt.h eva);
द्रक्ष्यसि
= you will see;
निज
= one's own;
हृदयस्थं
= heart-stationed;
देवं
= God;
.. ३२..
= 32

 
मूढ
= fool;
कश्चन
= cerain;
वैयाकरण
= Grammar;
डुकृञ्करण
= grammatic formula DukRi.nkaraNa;
अध्ययन
= study;
धुरिण
= awakened/aroused?;
श्रीमत्
= honourable prefix;
शंकर
= Shankara;
भगवत्
= God;
शिष्यैः
= disciples;
बोधित
= having been taught/enlightened;
आसित्
= was/existed;
चोधितकरण
= tested or awakened senses;
.. ३३..
= 33

 
भज
= worship;
गोविन्दं
= lord Govinda;
मूढमते
= Oh foolish mind!;
नामस्मरणात्= (exceept) through/from rememberance of the lord's name;
अन्य
= other;
उपाय
= plan/method/means;
नहि
= not;
पश्याम
= we see;
भवतरणे
= for crossing the ocean of births  deaths;
.. ३४..
= 34
  

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